TVA Releases Draft Integrated Resource Plan for Public Review
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Valley Authority released a draft Integrated Resource Plan for public review on Friday that evaluates options to meet the region’s power generation needs over the next 20 years.
Under development since early 2018, TVA’s IRP is a power planning roadmap that examines a variety of economic, regulatory and market-driven scenarios and strategies — both within and outside TVA’s control — to help TVA respond to changing energy demands while continuing to provide reliable power at the lowest possible cost.
“The 2019 IRP emphasizes the importance of flexibility in our generation in response to the changing energy marketplace,” said Laura Campbell, TVA Vice President of Enterprise Planning. “TVA looked at a wide range of possible futures, and flexibility is important in every case to ensure a reliable power supply.”
TVA is updating its 2015 IRP due to continuing changes in the utility industry. Such changes include abundant, lower-cost natural gas, decreased cost of renewable generation, and increased focus on energy conservation efforts.
Though the IRP is not final, the draft does contain some preliminary observations:
- Additional resource capacity will be needed to serve customers in all future scenarios.
- There is no immediate need for TVA to add baseload resources that are designed to operate around the clock.
- Solar will play a substantial role in expansion, beginning in the mid-2020 timeframe.
- Gas, storage, and demand response are added in varying amounts. They provide flexibility and ensure reliability at times of peak demand.
- Key considerations when evaluating coal retirements are uncertainty around future environmental standards for carbon emissions, the outlook for load, and natural gas prices.
- Energy efficiency levels are relatively similar across portfolios and decrease over time as efficiency impacts from new codes and standards increase over time.
A copy of the draft IRP and corresponding draft Environmental Impact Statement is posted at www.tva.com/irp. A public comment period will run from
Feb. 15 to April 8. Comments can be submitted on the TVA website at www.tva.com/irp, by email at IRP@tva.gov or sent by mail to Hunter Hydas, IRP Project Manager, Tennessee Valley Authority, 1101 Market Street, MR-3C, Chattanooga, TN 37402.
TVA will hold a series of public meetings to present the plan, answer questions, and accept written comments, in Knoxville (Feb. 27), Memphis (Mar. 18), Huntsville, Alabama (Mar. 19), Chattanooga (Mar. 20) and Bowling Green, Kentucky (Mar. 26).
TVA is also offering a public webinar on Tuesday, Feb. 26 from 11:00 - 11:45 a.m. EST. Anyone interested in participating can register at www.tva.com/irp. A recorded version of the webinar will also be posted on that webpage.
A final version of the IRP will be presented to the TVA board of directors later this year.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.
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